Outstanding summer programs for teens since 1982

Traveling Independently

Traveling Independently 1

Whether to travel independently or with a friend is a common question. There are advantages to both choices. Traveling on your own may seem intimidating but we’re experts in breaking the ice and helping you form new friendships that will last long after your trip is over. You’ll meet teens from many new places, also motivated to make new friends. Our leaders create a warm, welcoming environment to help you feel right at home.

Coming on a trip not knowing anyone, and leaving with people that will probably be some of my lifelong friends, is an experience that any teen would be so lucky to have!
Dalia Shaw, Atlanta, Georgia

Camryn had a fabulous trip! She went nervously alone but said everyone was so nice and welcoming, she quickly made friends. She thought it was a special group as the entire group was together a lot and didn’t break off into cliques. She thought all the counselors were fantastic and enjoyed herself so much, she stayed an extra week. Honestly, I’ve never seen her so happy!
Tracy & Brian Fives, Lake Worth, Florida

This program taught me so much about myself since I was traveling by myself! It was so much fun to meet new people and learn about super fun things! My favorite part of the program was the trips that we took into Santa Barbara and our catamaran cruise.
Elle Chavis, Dallas, Texas

Leigh went on this trip not knowing a single person and came back with excellent memories, a dozen new friends and experiences she will remember for a lifetime!
Peri & Marc Caponi, Lynbrook, New York

My first Westcoast Connection trip was absolutely amazing!! The staff was great and the group of people I was with was fantastic. Coming on this trip by myself, I never thought that I could become so close with a group of people in such a short amount of time.
Skylar Elbinger, Farmington Hills, Michigan

Derek seemed to enjoy all aspects of the program. He particularly liked the interaction with the animals at the wildlife sanctuary. He learned a lot of life skills – how to travel independently, working with others, being part of a group, helping others/giving back to the community, and life in other countries/cultures. Thank you for your excellent program.
Meredith & Mark Flax, Arlington, Virginia

Coming to Greece this summer changed my life. I’ve grown as a person in ways I never could have imagined. I’ve explored a totally new country and culture surrounded by people I didn’t know before coming here. I got comfortable with these new situations and experiences and that’s what I will leave with coming home. I loved seeing so many different sites. I loved swimming in Sivota, climbing in Meteora, walking around Nafplio, and finally of course seeing Santorini and the beautiful islands. Being that we spent over 25 days in the country, I believe we saw all of the highlights and truly experienced Greece to the fullest. I’m so thankful for this experience and I will never forget it.
Maya Pollack, Rockville, Maryland

Coming alone was one of the scariest experiences prior to the summer but WCC exceeded all my expectations and made this experience more memorable than I could have ever imagined! I loved all the experiences and will remember this trip forever!
Sloane Brodie, Oceanside, New York

This has been the best summer of my entire life! Going on this program by myself not knowing anyone and leaving with my best friends truly shows how much this summer meant to me! I am so excited to now move on with my new friends from all over the country and to continue to make more on other WCC trips! Thank you Westcoast for making this the best summer yet!
Lauren Buchwald, Parkland, Florida

Mya enjoyed the experience and was sad to see it end. She didn’t go in with any friends, but liked the people she met. She enjoyed surfing immensely and the different community service activities.
Barrie & Stephen Lieberman, Glencoe, Illinois

The program was a perfect blend of work and adventure. Ella learned so much, gave back to the community, yet also got to enjoy adventure. She made friends for lifetime from all over the country and truly connected with the staff. She truly enjoyed seeing a place she had never seen, being on her own and sharing a room was all so meaningful at this age. The turtles were her favorite part – learning and experiencing the wildlife was truly fascinating. She tried new foods and got to experience so many cultural aspects of Hawaii which she will never forget.
Julene Stassou, Fort Lee, New Jersey

When I came here at first I was a little nervous about not being able to make friends. However, as soon as I started talking to people we created such a deep connection. I think it is incredible how fast people can become friends, even if they’re completely different. I got to meet a lot of great people and share my culture with others. The most meaningful aspect of the whole trip was meeting new people! I also really enjoyed all the water activities, like kayaking, rafting, and tubing.
Victoria Korsakov, Moscow, Russia

On this trip, I made so many new friends. Coming alone from a state on the opposite side of the country, this trip helped me learn skills for life. Going on a teen tour really showed me how independent I could be!
Evyn Firestone, Atlanta, Georgia

WCC is a great way to come out of your shell. Coming into the trip, I was nervous because I came by myself. Throughout the trip I made so many new friends. I connected with the staff members as well. Going to all the locations in California made the connections so much better.
Elli Trager, Jacksonville, Florida

I was very nervous about sending Isaac alone on this trip. He had incredible experiences and the kids all got along so well. It was an amazing learning and growing experience for him. The pace of the trip was perfect for teens with enough activities and downtime. Isaac had only good things to say about both his staff Danny and Lindsey. He said they were “chill” which is about as big of a compliment as a teenager can give. He is already talking about what tour he wants to go on next summer! Thank you for organizing this wonderful adventure.
Jill & Lawrence Abrams, Melville, New York

WCC was always looking out for our safety, which I appreciate, and created activities that are fun and engaging. The experience of traveling independently and making new connections is an important life skill. Creating friendships was the most meaningful part of the trip for me and anywhere we went I had so much fun making unforgettable memories!
Kylie Orenstein, Lower Gwynedd, Pennsylvania

Kayla went alone and felt that all the other participants were very friendly and nice.
Fran & Larry Drucker, Norwood, New Jersey

Westcoast Connection is the best decision I have ever made. At first, I was hesitant about coming with no friends but Westcoast really helps to guarantee you will never be alone. The staff really make sure you are comfortable and make you feel very safe. I 100% recommend Westcoast Connection for any teen looking for an amazing summer and wanting to meet friends you will have forever.
Lily Abel, Potomac, Maryland

Jason loved this trip. He was nervous about going alone and not knowing anyone, but within the first few hours, he said he felt very comfortable.
Lili Brillstein, Maplewood, New Jersey

This trip really helped me to step out of my comfort zone. I came by myself and left with a whole group of best friends, that I made so quickly. It was amazing and I would definitely recommend this trip to people.
Mackenzie Osher, Coconut Creek, Florida

Ethan had an amazing time on his trip this summer. He met some amazing friends and I am so proud of him for doing this all on his own. I think Westcoast Connection did a great job of fostering friendships and placing kids together who have similar interests.
Jennifer Taboh, Pleasantville, New York

Rayna traveled solo and she learned how to make friends and how to make decisions on her own. The staff was excellent at helping her facilitate her independence in a discreet manner. My child also felt safe enough to try new activities that she would never normally try.
Marla & Jason Golnick, West Bloomfield, Michigan

Kayla says she had the best time in Costa Rica. She enjoyed all the community work and enjoyed being rewarded with incredible activities, her favorite being white water rafting. Kayla had some reservations about going on the trip and not knowing anyone, however she came back saying it was the best idea. She made so many new friends. She is talking/texting with them daily. She’s even planning to go back and try a new WCC trip next summer! Thank you WCC and Erin for an incredible 10 days. Kayla is still buzzing about it!
Robyn Feldman & Eldad Gal, London, England

We were very nervous sending Alexandra on this trip as she was going alone and this was her first away experience! Westcoast Connection handled all the arrangements from start to finish very professionally. It was an amazing trip for Alexandra. The activities were very well organized and fun! The kids got to really see and experience Costa Rica! Alexandra made such wonderful friendships that I know she will have for a lifetime. She is already planning her next teen tour!
Faith & Crane Gladding, Pompano Beach, Florida

Lainey went by herself and came home with amazing friendships, stories and experiences. We couldn’t be happier with Westcoast Connection and the information you gave us before and during the trip. We were really impressed with WCC’s experience and knowledge. Lainey and her WCC friends are already planning which trip they want to take next summer.
Lisa & Brad Goldoor, Dresher, Pennsylvania

Emily loved the Northwestern Odyssey. She went by herself and although she was nervous in the beginning, she built up her confidence each day and had the time of her life. The Director Brian was amazing, and the entire staff made her feel welcomed especially since she went on the trip by herself.
Sally & Andrew Zeiberg, Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Aidan had an incredible experience. He went knowing no one and came home so excited to share his trip with us and tell us all about the amazing friendships he made. Thank you for this opportunity.
Sari & Warren Alperstein, Reisterstown, Maryland

Henry had an amazing time! He loved the staff. He made lots of friends, boys and girls, and was not homesick at all! We really liked how roommates were rotated regularly, certainly helps prevent cliques and forces the kids to interact with everyone. We would definitely consider another trip with WCC for Henry in the future!
Stacey & Steven Gursten, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan

Dani had the best time! Every time she called, she can barely speak from excitement!!! It was a great mix of boys and girls. She was an independent traveler and had no issues connecting with the other teens.
Elaine & Alex Korenkov, Tenafly, New Jersey

Alex went without knowing any other kids and had the time of his life! He had the most fun he has ever had, including the 8 years of sleepaway camp. He said the other kids were friendly and inclusive.
Eric & Andrea Sklar, Potomac, Maryland

Brandon signed up for this trip by himself. From the moment we got to the airport the staff made every effort to bring the kids together. Brandon had an amazing experience and easily made friends. Thank you to the amazing staff on this tour for helping Brandon have a summer to remember!!
Lisa Berkoff, Commack, New York

I was nervous to come without a friend on this trip, but everyone was very friendly and it was easy to make new friends. I learned a lot about myself and grew from stepping out of my comfort zone. The community service was meaningful, the activities were a lot of fun, and the locations were beautiful.
Ryan Levine, Franklin Lakes, New Jersey

The program in general is an amazing experience! Gabriela went alone not knowing anyone and she made many friends and had the best time! She said the staff was amazing and all the kids were really nice. I can definitely see a maturity growth in her. Ryan had the most amazing trip! He said Costa and all the counselors were great and he met many nice kids. Thanks for everything!!
Fatin & Todd Hawley, West Bloomfield, Michigan

Edye absolutely loved all aspects of the trip. She went alone and the staff was very good from the beginning about forming a cohesive group. She made friends with people from all over the country. The staff was great and the community service was a very important part of her entire experience.
Randye Zerman & Mark Rosing, New Rochelle, New York

I came on this trip not knowing anyone and I left with lifelong friendships. I had an amazing time. I loved traveling this summer and Westcoast did a great job helping everyone meet each other and bond.
Jordan Abramson, Toronto, Ontario

California and the Canyons was a trip that I will remember forever. I was very nervous going into this trip because I came by myself and I didn’t know what to expect, but all the counselors were so sweet and made me feel so comfortable all the time. We did an insane amount of fun activities that I will never forget. I feel so much more independent and confident after going on this trip. I faced my fears by riding a rollercoaster, made so many new friends, and explored the West Coast in many different ways. This trip was definitely unforgettable!
Sara Kaplan, Westfield, New Jersey

Emilia had an amazing summer. She went on this program knowing no one and left with great friends and great memories & experiences. She bonded very quickly with a few girls and wrote us after 2 days stating she had already made great friends. Every time we heard from her, she would say, “I am having so much fun”. It seemed that every day was topping the next. She loved all the places visited, in particular the fact that she got to see so much of the West Coast of the U.S. and gorgeous sites in Canada. The fact that it was a great group of kids who got along very well made the trip really special. Emilia is already talking about going on a trip next summer with some of her new friends. We are so excited that she had this experience and are so glad that we chose Westcoast Connection.
Jane & Mark Romeo, New York, New York

We were concerned about Rebecca traveling alone but couldn’t have been happier about the friendships she made and how comfortable she felt from day one.
Paula & Chad Skier, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

I was very nervous to come on this trip, I came on not knowing anyone, however throughout the trip I have created bonds that will last a lifetime, and I’m so happy I took the risk and joined the Westcoast family!!
Samara Wolk, Richmond Hill, Ontario

This trip was by far the best experience of my life. I had sooo much fun, and although I came alone I immediately felt comfortable with the group and staff leaders. I learned to be more independent, and that it’s good to step out of your comfort zone. I would 10/10 recommend this trip to friends.
Lucy Greene, New York, New York

I came here more nervous than ever to travel from one part of the world to the other, and meeting people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. I ended up learning a lot, benefitting so much from my experiences, and expanding my point of view. Thank you Westcoast!
Khalid Al-Murshed, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

All the kids were welcoming and I made a lot of new friends, even though I didn’t come with any. I had an amazing time doing community service and fun activities.
Kyle Harris, Briarcliff, New York

I didn’t know anyone going on the trip but it was so easy to meet new people!
Ryan Gitlin, Toronto, Ontario

Meryl went on the trip by herself and made absolutely amazing friends.
Jonna & Scott Berman, Westfield, New Jersey

I came into this being very nervous about some of the social aspects as well as the community service but everything about this experience was so much better than I could have ever imagined. I’m so happy that WCC gave me the chance to have the time of my life surrounded by new friends, amazing staff, and new experiences. I never knew community service could be this much fun!! I would definitely encourage a friend to try this program and would definitely say to go alone. It really gives you the chance to grow as a person.
Zoe Adler, Dollard-Des Ormeaux, Quebec

Jackson loved the trip. He did not know a single person. Not only did he have to meet new people, he got to experience a variety of new things. I appreciated your detailed itinerary. I loved the collection of photos. This was his first time away from home for this period of time. It was a great learning experience for us all. Thank you for making it a fun and safe trip.
Elizabeth & Greg Scolnick, Louisville, Colorado

This trip changed my life. I came by myself scared that I wouldn’t make any friends but ended up making some of the best friends in my life. I made so many more friends and stronger connections with people than expected. Even the staff was easy to connect to.
Amber Zeitz, Voorhees, New Jersey

This trip changed my life. I came alone, and after day one I had made a ton of new friends. Not only did I make great friends, but this experience has sparked a desire in me to travel the world and be more adventurous.
Eli Graff, Miami, Florida

I came into this trip knowing nobody and am leaving Thailand with new friends and relationships that I will cherish forever and a summer I will never forget. My Director Chris was always very accommodating and made sure everybody got everything they needed. As well as being funny and enjoyable to being around he cared about everybody on the trip. It was the most fun summer I have ever had and wouldn’t change it for anything!
Rachel Platt, Allendale, New Jersey

This was by far Lucas’s best experience! He loved all the amazing sites and activities, he respected and liked each group leader, and he made new friends in his co-trippers. I was nervous sending him without a buddy, but the leaders did a great job of getting everyone integrated. I will definitely use Westcoast Connection again!
Monique & Charles Jalenak, Memphis, Tennessee

I was worried at first about going alone, but it only took a day or two to get comfortable with everyone else. The staff were amazing, and were the best I’ve had on Westcoast. The locations were great. Hiking the glacier was a crazy experience, and I would definitely do it again.
Jesse Schmalholz, Armonk, New York

On Westcoast, it’s super easy to make friends even if you’re not coming with anyone! Everyone is open and wants to talk and be friendly. It’s a great experience and I urge everyone to try it at least once.
Ian Spector, River Vale, New Jersey

This program is great, no matter if you go with your friends or by yourself, you’re sure to make new friends and have an amazing time. On this trip I learned the ability to reach out and put myself out there and everyone was nothing other than kind, I had an amazing Westcoast trip and would come back every year if I could.
Sydney Sarotte, Beverly Hills, Michigan

I was nervous coming on this trip by myself and the first night I bonded with new friends. This trip was life changing and is something I will remember for the rest of my life and I will never forget the friends and memories I made.
Harrison Ball, New York, New York

Evan came alone and he made friends quickly and was so happy! I was so impressed by how quickly and seamlessly this all happened!
Sharon Singer & Teddy Smith, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

Brianna had an amazing summer. She went not knowing anyone and came home with what she describes as a new family. Not only did she make great friends but she experienced things she wouldn’t of besides this.
Dawn & Scott Singer, Little Neck, New York

Andrew had a great time. He made great friends from all over the USA. He went without knowing anyone and had clearly made friends by the first evening. The staff were wonderful the morning everyone met at the airport. They were enthusiastic, friendly, excited… right away they put Andrew at ease. Andrew loved the activities such as whitewater rafting, surfing, hiking the canyons and especially the Pink Jeep Tour. The California & the Canyons is a superb itinerary.
Barbara & Jeffrey Nimerofsky, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey

When I came on this trip I was nervous about meeting new people, but now I have really good friends and I’m sad that it is already over.
Caitlin McCurry, Solon, Ohio

Tess chose to go alone and the staff did a great job of making her comfortable and engaging the kids in appropriate team building activities. Prior to the trip, the staff assured me that many kids travel alone and that made me feel much more comfortable.
Rita & George Bartman, Mahopac, New York

Wonderful experience. Everything we were told ahead of time about the benefits of AJ traveling on his own without friends was accurate. He met so many new people and developed friendships that he likely would not have done had he been traveling with established friend groups. We loved the independence of traveling and having some time alone while still under proper supervision. AJ developed close bonds with the other kids as well as the staff.
Lianne & Stephen Goldsmith, Toronto, Ontario

I came on this trip alone and met a lot of people that I will be friends with for a long time. I saw many new places across North America, with many new friends, while gaining valuable life lessons, throughout the program!
Michael Mariam, Rye Brook, New York

When coming into the trip, I was nervous, but once I met everyone, I felt so welcomed. I knew this was going to be an amazing experience as I worked with my fellow trip members to improve a community in need.
Jacob Grebber, Needham, Massachusetts

Julia gained a tremendous amount of independence from this trip. She went not knowing anyone, made great friends and did amazing things!!
Alyse & Tony Wanger, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Isabelle really enjoyed her experience. She met some really nice kids that she stays in touch with and Westcoast Connection did a great job of getting the kids to befriend each other. This was important to us since Isabelle went alone.
Ella & Doron Ilan, Pleasantville, New York

Alex is still talking about how incredible the trip was. He loved Noah, the Director, and all of the counselors. I sent Alex on the trip not knowing anyone and he bonded with the kids immediately. He loved everything. It was an incredible experience and we are so happy he had the BEST time.
Tammi & Steve Shnider, Wellington, Florida

Amanda loved the experience and staff. I am pleased with the degree of independence for the participants combined with the supervision provided. She has only great things to say about the people and the trip in general. Getting pictures is great as well! Kids going alone felt comfortable and friendships were encouraged.
Debra Israel, Dollard des Ormeaux, Quebec

I came alone and met way more friends than I thought I was going to. WCC did a great job keeping us entertained and we always had a fun time.
Justin Steinberg, New City, New York

Adam knew no one going on this trip and it turned out to be the best way to travel. He had a great summer. We were thrilled with his experience and excitement. Thanks again.
Sandy & Paul Brodsky, Parkland, Florida

This was Sydney’s second Westcoast Connection trip and it was amazing. It was a great group of kids and a fantastic trip. A lot of the kids were from many different places and joined the trip on their own, which made it easy and welcoming for other newcomers. Sydney had a fabulous time and was sad to leave her new friends. She will definitely keep in touch with the kids from the trip. We only have positive feedback on a well-executed trip which was filled with great memories that will last a lifetime.
Sandy Leider & Alan Grad, Toronto, Ontario

Westcoast Connection did a great job of making kids feel comfortable and inclusive if they didn’t know anyone on the trip. It was great how active Jessica and the kids were, they did many exciting things that challenged them.
Laurie Wolk & Stephen Rosenblatt, Larchmont, New York

Sam loved the trip. He felt comfortable from the first day despite not knowing anyone. He made a great group of friends with whom he has kept in touch and plans to see throughout the year.
Jennifer & William Theriault, Weston, Connecticut

This was the best month of my life. I made so many friends and got to experience so much. The staff always had my best interest. I have so many memories from this trip that I will never forget. I came alone and Westcoast Connection helped me to feel at home with the group with excellent staff that was always supportive and fun activities to bring us together.
Gillian Sarrett, Madison, New Jersey

Jake went on the trip not knowing anyone and his experience was exactly what we had hoped for. It was a positive experience on all levels.
Wendy & Davis Weiss, Singapore

This was the best trip of my entire life. It would not have been the same without the amazing staff. I came alone, yet I left with so many new friends. I wouldn’t trade this summer for the world.
Samantha Fernie, Dorval, Quebec

Sydney traveled alone and made new friends who she will definitely be in contact with. She said she picked the perfect tour and the kids were down to earth.
Stephanie & Michael Popkin, Boca Raton, Florida

We cannot say enough wonderful things about Westcoast Connection. From our first inquiry, to the actual trip, the level of professionalism was excellent. Every aspect of the trip was well coordinated and thought through. Emma really enjoyed seeing the different sites and equally enjoyed the service they did. She went on this trip alone and the staff all understood how to team build and how to create community. The community building began the moment they reached their first destination, they really had it under control. Emma made wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime! She also loved the staff and this was a feeling held by all of the kids. We couldn’t be more thrilled!
Melissa & Bruce Patz, Needham, Massachusetts

This trip was amazing and I had a lot of fun! Going into this without knowing people is a really great thing to do in order to meet new people. Monica was a really great Director. She was always inclusive and always made sure that we had fun!! Westcoast Connection did everything well!! Very impressed with the whole shebang!!
Logan Goldberg , Shaker Heights, Ohio

When I came on this trip I was nervous about making friends, but by the time I got off the plane I have already made many. And after a few weeks those friends felt like family.
Emma Staller, Jericho, New York

I came by myself and was a little worried about making friends, but within a day I found so many! Our Director Sam was awesome and all the leaders were so sweet and easy to get to know and talk to!
Sienna Boshard, Provo, Utah

This trip was such an amazing experience for Emma. She went by herself, and made lots of friends, and she said it was the best summer of her life. She loved the group and the staff. It was such a well-run, outstanding trip, and we will definitely send her on another Westcoast Connection trip in the future.
Gail Tenner, Highland Park, Illinois